Greek Islands in Crisis: Corfu and Rhodes Issue Evacuation Orders Amid Devastating Wildfires

Corfu Fire

In the midst of Greece's wildfire crisis, authorities have confirmed that over 2,000 people have been evacuated from the picturesque island of Corfu.

Greece is grappling with a wildfire crisis, with Corfu becoming the latest Greek island to issue an evacuation order. Social media photos show flames engulfing Corfu's northern region, a popular destination for British tourists. The situation comes after approximately 19,000 people were evacuated from the island of Rhodes, which has also been ravaged by fires spreading from its centre.

The country has been enduring scorching heat, with temperatures exceeding 40°C (104°F) across the nation, fueling fires that have been blazing for almost a week in some areas. In response to the dire conditions, Greece's Emergency Communications Service published evacuation orders for several areas of Corfu, including Santa, Megoula, Porta, Palia, Perithia, and Sinies.

Residents of the affected areas are being evacuated by sea, with boats dispatched for this purpose. The densely forested Kiotari region on the east of Rhodes has experienced the destruction of at least three hotels, leaving tourists and locals in dire need of essentials.

Rhodes, situated about 1027km away, has been grappling with wildfires exacerbated by strong winds since Tuesday, leading to massive evacuations. Over 16,000 people have been evacuated by land, and an additional 3,000 were evacuated by sea, making it the largest wildfire evacuation in Greek history. Thousands of holidaymakers have sought refuge at Rhodes Airport, awaiting flights to return home, while holiday companies Jet2 and Tui have cancelled flights to the island

On the island of Rhodes, firefighters fought all night with rekindling between Apollo and Platania, while scattered outbreaks are east to Malona and Massari. Two hundred sixty-six firefighters, 55 vehicles and 16 teams on foot are scrambling to extinguish the fire, assisted by three helicopters and four aeroplanes.
In Egio, the village of Trapeza was evacuated with a message sent via the emergency number 112 and the settlement of Kastro Aegialia as the fire continued to burn on a nearby hill. Firefighters are trying to prevent the fire from crossing the highway, and so far, they have succeeded

EasyJet is organizing repatriation flights to bring British nationals back home, providing a much-needed lifeline for stranded travellers. The UK Foreign Office has dispatched a rapid deployment team and Red Cross workers to Rhodes to assist British nationals and support travel operators in evacuation.

Despite the heroic efforts of 260 firefighters and 18 aircraft battling the flames, Greece's fire service has warned that the situation may worsen as more villages require evacuation. The battle to contain the wildfires is expected to take several days. Emergency services are also grappling with fires on the islands of Evia, east of Athens, and Aigio, southwest of Athens, with homes already lost in these regions as well.


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